The 3 Most Common FinOps Questions—Answered

In Episode 10 of CloudBrew, Mark Newton from TD SYNNEX joins CoreStack to demystify FinOps for all. 

FinOps is a critical, necessary undertaking. Every company touching cloud must prioritize it, but many have questions about it. 

In Episode 10 of CloudBrew, CoreStack's NextGen Cloud Governance podcast, we get real answers from someone who eats and sleeps FinOps. Mark Newton, FinOps Field CTO at TD SYNNEX, demystifies topics like where to get started, running FinOps resellers or distributor, and why cloud vendors have been slow to adapt. 

In addition to his real-world experience at TD SYNNEX, Mr. Newton is certified as a Solutions Architect Associate as well as a FinOps Certified Practitioner. 

#1) How Does a Company Get Started in FinOps? 
“Whether you're a practitioner applying it to your company, or a partner serving through professional services, I like to put the two in the same spot,” says Newton. “The reason is that I'm a big believer in not just intellectualizing about a topic, but being an actual practitioner. So, whether you're selling it through professional services—or technology such as CoreStack—you're actually a practitioner within your company. I think it's important to have a mastery of it.” 

Newton continues: “Spend time on finops.org; take 2-4 hours to really consume the material. Work toward being that FinOps practitioner. It's important to demonstrate that you've taken the time to invest—and know how to position the framework, relate that to the maturity model, and apply it technically.” 

#2) What about Running FinOps as a Reseller or Distributor Partner?  
“The focus is on optimization and other activities that drive the value of cloud through alignment to the business,” says Newton. When it comes to profitability and creating P&L, he starts with the following questions:  

How would you go about creating a technological stack in such a way that you're creating margin? 

What would that margin look like? 

How does it all relate to the value you create for your end customer?  

Newton continues on the topic: “I've even began to see some of the pressures moving toward embracing of the authority to operate. Customers are deciding FinOps is really important; they understand it better and know how to apply it. And then going a step further, part of what FinOps talks about is cost and utilization. The constant push is on optimization of rate 

We're seeing this movement toward observability and being really aware through real time analytics. So there’s organizations that really understand how to move toward that and understand how to mature their offering for an end customer through those kinds of practices. There's a competitive stance for being able to get out in front and drive value to their business model.” 

#3) Since Cloud Vendors Have Been Slow to Adapt, Should Others Follow? 
“No, don't stand back just because cloud vendors have been a little bit slower—or a little bit different—in how they react to it,” says Newton. “The reality is this is a global movement. When I first started participating in FinOps, there were less than 4,000 practitioners. And it just hit 10,000 within 2-3 years, so it's definitely under way. It's definitely important. The vast majority of Fortune 100 already participate in FinOps.” 

He continues on adapting: “Unfortunately, with the push of recession and concerns about costs and profit headwinds, the conversations have myopically been going toward getting costs down. While that's an okay spot to start a conversation around FinOps, and definitely integral to running a good FinOps practice, it's not the only reason for FinOps to exist. I would encourage someone that's thinking that way to know that you don't want to “out save” your competition. You want to outperform your competition, which means investing in the right ways, and doing it better. Part of that function is spending money in the right way, and cost optimization serves that.” 

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